Are Your Air Filters Clean and How to Tell

Are Your Air Filters Clean and How to Tell

If the motor of your HVAC system is its heart, the air filter is its lungs. Our HVAC systems need clean air to perform correctly, just as we do. What happens if a dirty air filter is blocking that air from going where it needs to? It can lead to expensive problems down the road. Below, we will show you are your air filters clean and how to tell.

The True Cost of Dirty Air Filters

According to the Indian Michigan Power, a dirty air filter can lead to an increase in your energy bill of anywhere from 5% to 15%, depending on your unit usage, etc. This means that the cost of an air filter can easily pay for itself just within the first month. But there are other costs associated with a dirty HVAC filter including:

  • Increased maintenance costs – All units from residential to industrial must be maintained on a regular basis in order to ensure a long life, but a clogged air filter can increase the frequency. For example, the accumulation dust and dirt can lead to a clogged filter that allows contaminants to pass and come into contact with vital system components. It will ultimately cost more to have the unit cleaned than to replace the filter.
  • Decreased comfort – Fans push cooled or heated air through the filter. The blower has to work harder to move this air when the filters are clogged. This reduced airflow can lead to random hot or cold spots in your home and cause you to adjust the temperature accordingly and unnecessarily.
  • Poor quality air – Clogged air filters are also likely to allow dust and debris to recirculate back into your property. This can cause havoc for any occupants with allergies, asthma, and other respiratory concerns.

How to Tell Are Your Filters Clean

There are many sings of a dirty air filters, a few of which include:

  1. Reduced air flow – Does your unit not blow as hard as it used to in similar operating conditions?
  2. Increased energy bills – Like the above, are you experiencing higher heating and cooling bills compared to other similar operating conditions?
  3. Appearance – Feel free to check your owner’s manual on how to properly remove your air filter and examine it. The filter should generally not have large brown spots or any black.
  4. Strange noises – Does your unit stop or start sporadically? This could be the sign of it attempting to compensate for a dirty filter.
  5. Strange smell – Contaminants that build up on the air filter can make their way onto the property and result in a strange musty, moldy, or other type of smell which will be stronger at the ductwork.
  6. Check your manual – Your unit should tell you the average shelf life of a standard air filter. Be sure to mark the change date on your calendar.

Get a Professional

We recommend having your HVAC filters inspected on a regular basis for just these reasons. This goes for all our residential, commercial, and industrial clients. At the Barton Boys, we serve Spokane Valley, Hayden, and Coeur d’Alene with all their HVAC needs. Contact us today for more.